Hash'ak'gik and Hash'ak'gik's Altar
Hash'ak'gik and Hash'ak'gik's Altar in Blood Omen
In Blood Omen, Kain explored Avernus Cathedral. Within the complex building, there was a passageway that was easy to overlook. It was near the cathedral's main altar, but it led to a very different place of worship. By following this passage, Kain was able to find another, secret altar hidden in the Avernus Catacombs: one that was dedicated to a being called Hash'ak'gik.
The dark, underground path the the altar was surrounded with countless skeletons. The altar itself was in an alcove decorated with skulls. Upon it was a bloodstained book, with the following words printed on the opened page:
And Hash'ak'gik spoke to the world, and all who heard trembled.
"Bring me your first born, and shed their blood on the altar of the world, so I might take nourishment from them.
Do this without question, or suffer my wrath for eternity."
And its will was done.
As Azimuth resided within the cathedral, it appeared that she would know of this altar, and was probably its primary user. It was one of only two places in Blood Omen that referred to Hash'ak'gik and the worshippers it had in Nosgoth. The other was a book in the Library of Willendorf; although Hash'ak'gik was not identified by name, this book briefly described a small god-worshipping cult associated with tales of human possession.
The image on the altar room floor resembled the demonic form the Dark Entity took at the end of Blood Omen. This led players to believe that Hash'ak'gik was the Dark Entity's real name. Silicon Knights (the creators of Blood Omen) apparently intended this to be the case, as they call the Dark Entity that on the 'Plot' page of the Silicon Knights Blood Omen FAQ.
Hash'ak'gik in Defiance
Crystal Dynamics built on the story of Blood Omen, so some elements were developed or slightly altered for the subsequent Legacy of Kain games. Defiance revealed that the Hash'ak'gik described in the bloody book was not actually the Dark Entity at all. Also, Hash'ak'gik wasn't an individual, rather a combination of several beings.
In Defiance, in the Blood Omen era, Raziel stumbled upon a strange ceremony the depths of the Avernus Catacombs. Masked humans, led by Mortanius, were engaged in ritual worship of Hash'ak'gik. From the edges of a huge pit, the faithful Cenobites praised Hash'ak'gik, offering blood sacrifices to appease him and avert his wrath from them. Their words echoed the text of the bloody book.
When Mortanius finally dismissed the gathering, Raziel drew near, curious. He was not cautious enough, and the 'god' made a surprise telekinetic attack. Raziel fell into the pit, and met Hash'ak'gik face to face. He found that the Cenobites were actually worshipping the evolved vampire Turel, intermittantly possessed by several Hylden. The Hylden used Turel's voice to command the Cenobites, and demanded the blood sacrifices to keep Turel alive. They said he had "been a durable vessel", but he could take them no further. Raziel killed Turel and devoured his soul.[3,4]
According to the first Defiance Q&A page at The Lost Worlds, Azimuth and Mortanius served the Hylden (implied plural), who they knew as Hash'ak'gik. The Defiance team FAQ at the Eidos Forums explains that, at some point, Azimuth used the Time Streaming Device she stole from Moebius to bring Turel back in time from the Soul Reaver era into the Blood Omen era. He was presumbly chosen to be the host for Hash'ak'gik for two reasons. Firstly, his imposing physical appearance would impress the Cenobites, and secondly, as he was an immortal vampire, he was 'an incorruptible vessel': a host who wouldn't be 'used up', or transformed by aggressive Hylden possession.[5,6]
The Dark Entity is still often called Hash'ak'gik by fans and in some official sources (e.g. Prima's Official Defiance Strategy Guide). However - in Crystal Dynamics' continuity - we don't know that was his name; it may have been, but it's confusing as he was not one of those Hylden possessing Turel, and therefore not part of the composite 'god' the humans referred to as Hash'ak'gik. It is possible the Dark Entity initiated contact with the Circle of Nine, and his name could have been subsequently lent to the Avernus god to suggest a continuity of rule to the humans. Turel may have embraced the name Hash'ak'gik as his own, and liked to think of himself as a god (greater than Kain), but he was only a mouthpiece for the Hylden that controlled him.[7,5,4]
The first Defiance Q&A page at The Lost Worlds says that the decision to cast Turel as the blood-hungry physical form of Hash'ak'gik happened shortly after he was cut from Soul Reaver. It's a decision that makes sense: as far back as Soul Reaver, fans commented that sacrificing one's 'first born... on the altar of the world' sounded like a reference to Kain's execution of Raziel. As Turel was present at that event - and took part in it - perhaps he was trying to recreate or emulate it by specifying first-borns as his preferred victims.
It is unclear where Hash'ak'gik's altar was located in relation to Turel's pit in Defiance.
- [BO1] Kain: "I came upon another book of interest buried deep amongst the library's tomes. It spoke of a small cult that existed in Nosgoth, ages past. Wherever they traveled strange tales of human possession would follow. Little is known of the god they worshipped."
- The 'Plot' page of the Silicon Knights Blood Omen FAQ
- The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - Dark Rites In The Avernus Catacombs)
- The Defiance Script (Dialogue) (Dark Chronicle - Reunion)
- The first Defiance Q&A page at The Lost Worlds
- The Defiance team FAQ at the Eidos Forums
- Defiance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide (ISBN 0761544674)